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Best Kamado Grills in 2021 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews

By Luna Regina | Updated
Edited byDonna Currie
Our recommendations are made independently through research and testing following our review procedure. We may receive commissions from purchases made via our links at no additional costs to you.

A well-rounded kamado grill is exactly what many aspiring grillers need. You can consider this all-encompassing cooking equipment as the hybrid of a traditional barbecue grill, food smoker, and convection oven. Thanks to its potent heating prowess and retention properties, the versatile ceramic-based cooker can handle any temperature with ease.

Best Kamado Grills 2021

But you may have a tough time making the most informed purchase when there are several other factors to consider. Our buying guide and reviews can help you find the best kamado grills for the upcoming holiday season. In addition to that, we’ll also answer a few questions concerning these grills at the end of this entry.

How to Choose the Best Kamado Grill

If you want to go above casual grilling and enjoy different cooking options, then getting a kamado grill is the right call. But before you buy a new grill, we advise you to bear certain things in mind.

Price

There’s a huge gap between retail price points that might baffle buyers, especially if they don’t know precisely what they need. Kamado grills can cost from $150 up to over thousands of dollars, depending on the brand, size, and construction, among other factors.

If you’re a first-time griller who isn’t completely sold on what the grill promises, then you should get a small steel kamado grill. It will let you familiarize yourself with how kamado grills work before you buy a ceramic grill, and let you hone your skills. These grills are usually in the $150 - $400 range, on the budget-friendly side of the spectrum. They perform relatively well, are reasonably durable, and thus, the perfect trial run for inexperienced grillers.

Once you’ve accumulated enough skills and confidence, you can opt for a medium-sized kamado grill made of ceramic, which could set you back from $400 to $850. These grills can accommodate larger items, retain heat better, and are more durable.

A high-end kamado grill can go from $1,000 to $2,000. The initial cost can be off-putting, but given the grill’s lifetime warranty, overall performance, and other useful features, it’s a worthwhile investment for veteran grill masters aiming for grilling excellence.

Of course, there are other larger kamado grills costing north of $2,000, but we felt they are oversized and aren’t suitable for home use.

Size

It’s essential to know how many people you’re grilling for, what foods you usually cook, and how often you use the grill. These factors will help you determine the best grill size for your needs You should pay attention to the grill’s specific dimensions and interior capacity.

Small kamado grills are:

  • best for three or four adult diners,
  • small enough to put on vehicles,
  • ideal for those who only grill sparingly, like on national holidays

Medium kamado grills are:

  • best for five to six adult diners,
  • spacious enough for most foods, like burgers, hot dogs, and steaks
  • ideal for casual grilling

Large kamado grills are:

  • best for seven to eight diners,
  • large enough for chunks of brisket, ribs, and whole chickens,
  • ideal for neighborhood or family reunions parties.

Of course, there are much larger kamado grills that can accommodate more, but we feel that they aren’t worth the hefty cost.

Construction

The quality of workmanship has improved since the days the grills were introduced in the States. Manufacturers have moved on from clay and terra cotta, to materials with higher durability and better heat retention, like ceramic and steel. Each material has its own strengths and shortcomings.

If you want an investment that can last for years to come, then we suggest getting a ceramic kamado grill. Ceramic doesn't rust, it provides excellent insulation against loss of heat, and is under lifetime warranty from most manufacturers. But it is heavy and highly fragile: it is prone to chipping and cracking if dropped or tipped.

Steel doesn’t act as an insulator like ceramic, so steel kamado grills generally have double-walled construction to create the required insulating properties. In order to prevent rust and corrosion, steel grills are enameled, powder-coated, porcelain-coated or ceramic-coated. The upside is that they are much lighter and aren’t as fragile as ceramic, which could chip and eventually break.

The grates may be either cast iron or stainless steel, which is something you should keep in mind if you have a specific preference. Stainless steel grates are impervious against rust, easier to clean, and thus more expensive. Cast iron grates can retain heat better, but they require extra attention during cleanup and maintenance.

Temperature

It takes time to get the hang of controlling the temperature inside a kamado grill because there isn’t an easy-start ignition system and dial knobs like a gas grill. At first, you may feel frustrated with the temperature control, but with enough practice, you’ll get used to it.

Kamado grills take a while for the grill to heat up and cool down. To fine-tune the temperature to your liking, you adjust the dampers. Typically, there are two dampers— or air vents— on a kamado grill: one at the bottom so the air can enter the coal bed, and one on top to let the air out.

To make setting the damper positions easier, there may be indication marks on the lid or bottom damper, so you should look out for those. When you finish cooking, you can close off all the dampers, snuffing out the flame easily.

You should also check the gaskets on the body and the dome before buying, make sure that they fit snugly on the rim and match each other. The more airtight your kamado grill is, the more heat and smoke it can retain, and the more flavorful your food will be.

We cannot stress enough that it takes up to 15 or 20 minutes for the grill to make adjustments, so you shouldn’t overcompensate by opening the vents too wide and overshoot the desired temperature. Once the grill gets hot, it can take time for it to cool off again to a lower cooker temperature. Once the fire is snuffed, the interior won’t cool off in a blink of an eye, either, so you’ll have to wait for it to cool enough to empty the ash and unburned charcoal or wood and clean the interior.

Cleaning Ease

Once the party is over, the grillers still have to deal with all the mess left behind.

To alleviate the cleaning burden, you should get a grill with an integrated ash drawer, so you can discard the ash and cinders with ease. For the ash stuck deep inside the coal bed, you should use an ash rake. Any unburned charcoal can be taken out by tongs or gloves. For the finer ash, you can use the vacuum cleaner.

If you don’t want to deal with ceramic, which requires meticulous cleaning, then it’s best to get a coated steel grill.

Since ceramic is porous, it has a lot of cleaning noes. When cleaning ceramic parts, there are two rules to follow: keep it dry and keep it hot. Keep it dry means all the ceramic parts are not to be exposed to running water, cleaning agents, and violent scrubbing. They should be rubbed with a damp, lint-free cloth.

But what about the grease, food remains, and stain spots on ceramic surfaces? And what if the moisture and humidity form inside the grill due to the weather, or the mold gathers after a long time of disuse? That’s where the keep it hot rule comes in: flip the stained side of the ceramic parts, namely pizza stone and heat deflectors, toward the flame, let the temperature reach the 650°F-700°F range— with the dome closed and all the air vents open— for 15-20 minutes. The heat will burn away all the impurities without the need for water and chemicals. Another option, if you know you won’t be using the grill for some time, would be to bring the pizza stone into the house and store it right along with the pizza stone you use in your oven.

Portability

Ceramic kamado grills come in various sizes, but one irrefutable fact remains: they are extremely heavy. However, there are small and lightweight kamado grills that can travel with you, but you have to be careful not to chip, crack, or break the ceramic on the way.

If you need portability, you should go for steel grills, since they are much more lightweight. And if you’re an avid camper who loves going on road trips and picnicking, then a small grill should fit nicely inside your vehicles.

For home grillers, a cart with rotating casters will let them move the grill easily when the rain is coming, the wind is too strong, or a need to change venue arises.

Safety

Since ceramic parts are heavy, particularly the dome, you should look for a kamado grill with support mechanism on the hinge. It will assist you when lifting the lid, as well as keeping it from slamming into the body, creating cracks and chipping.

When checking the items inside the grill, you are well advised to open and close the lid for a few times slightly and slowly— a technique called burping. This will prevent flashbacks and backdrafts— sudden bursts of flames when the air enters the cooking chamber abruptly. Gloves and oven mitts are also recommended.

You should also check smaller details on the assembly of the grill, namely the weld points, nuts, and bolts to make sure that they are intact and affixed firmly. Friendly return policy, helpful customer service, and clear warranty terms in case your grill underperforms are important to consider.

Extra Features

Some kamado grills may include one, some, or all of the following features:

  • Side table
  • Bottom shelf
  • Coal rake
  • Thermometer
  • Lid latch

Reviews of the Best Kamado Grills in 2021:

1. Kamado Joe Classic II 18-inch - Best to Buy in 2021

We chose Kamado Joe Classic II as the first pick of the draft for its diverse temperature range and the flexibility of cooking options, which make this grill a shining exemplar for kamado grills, albeit with a rather exorbitant price tag. In fact, the price isn’t enough to deter avid grillers and BBQ lovers from getting the Classic II, as the values it offers are definitely worth the investment. Thus, its inclusion within our picks for the grills to purchase in 2021 is well-earned.

Kamado Joe KJ23RHC Classic II Charcoal Grill
  • Excellent overall performance

  • Removable ceramic firebox

  • Easy to assemble

  • Support mechanism on the hinge

  • Side tables

  • Cart with casters

  • Expensive

Size

The Classic II measures 28 inches long by 46.5 inches wide by 48 inches tall. Its grilling surface measures 18 inches in diameter, offering 256 square inches. However, you can double that area by attaching an additional grate to the metal frame. If 512 square inches isn’t going to cut it, an extra standalone grate— dubbed grill expander— will bring the total grilling surface to 660 square inches.

Construction

The body and lid are glazed ceramic, while the heat deflector is uncoated ceramic. Kamado Joe uses stainless steel for the grates, lid latch, and bottom air vent and aluminum for the top damper.

The firebox consists of six ceramic panels instead of a whole ring. The gaskets are wire mesh fiberglass, and they align perfectly when the body and the dome meet. To further guarantee the air-tight environment, a latch will lock the dome and the body in place.

What we like about this grill is the supporting mechanism on the back: the counterbalance Air Lift hinge makes it very easy to lift the heavy dome.

Kamado Joe uses molded plastic for the side tables and handle, both of which are sturdy and stay cool to the touch. The grill is easy to assemble, reportedly taking about 20 minutes.

Temperature

The bottom draft door and the top air vent— dubbed Kontrol Tower by Kamado Joe— will fine-tune the heat. To assist grillers in achieving the desired temperature, there are indicating marks on the top damper, so grillers can adjust accordingly. Besides venting the grill, the top damper also prevents raindrops, dew, and snow from entering the grill.

The half-moon grates allow you to add coal conveniently, which can raise the temperature from 225°F to 750°F. That’s probably why grillers highly praised the Classic II’s ability to cook a diverse range of food, from pork shoulder on low and pizza on high heat. The grates can be raised or lowered at will, depending on what style of cooking you prefer.

Cleaning Ease

The Classic II is lauded for dealing with the ash very effectively: shake the firebox, stir the unburnt charcoal, and the ash will fall onto the built-in drawer at the bottom. You can then slide the drawer out and discard the ash. As for the remaining ash at the bottom, you can vacuum-clean it.

Unfortunately, the ceramic components require manual cleaning and are quite tricky to service. On the bright side, the half-moon grates are stainless steel and can fit inside a dishwasher. Or, you can scrub these grates when they are warm, preferably after cooking, when the grease and gunk can easily come off.

Portability

Since the Classic II weighs 188 pounds, moving it alone is very hard, unless you’re physically gifted. Luckily, the cast iron cart with casters will assist you in moving the grill around. The casters can swivel at corners and go sideways easily, and when arriving at the desired spot, the metal locks on the casters will keep the grill from rolling away.

Safety

The Air Lift mechanism on the hinge will let you raise the dome effortlessly, while also preventing the dome from slamming into the body when the hand accidentally slips or lets go of the handle— a common design flaw found in many kamado grills, which can lead to cracking and chipping on ceramic parts.

Like all other kamado grills, the Classic II is subjected to backdrafts and flashbacks without proper burping and should be ignited using a chimney starter or an electric charcoal starter instead of lighter fluids.

Extra Features

The lid-mounted thermometer is large, easy to read, and will let you monitor the temperature inside without opening the lid too often. If you want to check the temperature of the food as it cooks, a grilling thermometer with a remote display for checking the temperature on your brisket, whole chickens, or pork shoulder roast is a must-have device.

The two foldable side tables will let you keep spices and condiments nearby. The Classic II also comes with a grate gripper and an ash rake. When you you’re not using them, you can hang them on the tool hooks on the side tables.

Verdict

Getting the Kamado Joe Classic II is a big commitment: it means that you’re willing to part ways with the old charcoal grill and ready to improve your grilling skills beyond steaks, burgers, and hotdogs. And once you’ve mastered controlling it, you’ll wonder why you didn’t buy this grill much sooner.

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2. Kamado Joe Big Joe 24” Kamado Grill - Best Kamado Joe

We felt the only way to do Kamado Joe enough justice is by having its own category, given that this brand has so many well-rounded grills. With its humongous interior and superior heating capability, the Big Joe 24” is the way to go when you’re grilling large chunks of briskets, or when you’re hosting a large party.

Kamado Joe BJ24RHC Big Joe II Charcoal Grill
  • Huge interior

  • Excellent overall performance

  • Removable ceramic firebox

  • Thermometer

  • Side tables

  • Cart with casters

  • Expensive

Size

The Big Joe measures 31 inches long by 50 inches wide by 54 inches tall, with its 24-inch diameter offering 452 square inches. The grilling surface could be doubled with an extra grate, and further expanded up to 1,056 square inches with a grill expander. These extra grates, along with the half-moon cast iron griddle can be purchased separately, and they’ll come in handy when the number of guests arriving exceeds the number invited.

Construction

As a typical Kamado Joe, the body and dome are glazed ceramic. The bottom draft door, lid latch, and grates are all stainless steel, with the exception of the top damper being aluminum. The gaskets are wire mesh fiberglass, while the side tables and lid are molded plastic.

The six ceramic panels form the firebox, so you can take each panel out with ease. This design is highly appreciated when it’s cleaning time or the need to replace a broken component arises.

And like the Classic II, the Big Joe also integrates the counterbalance Air Lift hinge to assist lifting the heavy dome.

Temperature

The bottom and top dampers control how hot the grill gets by allowing or restrict the flow of air inside the grill. The top damper has indicating marks to help grillers fine-tune the temperature.

We particularly like the half-moon grates because they give you space to tend the coal without interfering with the food. With two different heights and other cooking surfaces to choose from, you can create two different temperature zones; and replace the grates with a half-moon cast iron griddle or a pizza stone to cook.

  • To grill low-and-low: use a heat deflector, and place the grate right above it. To smoke or roast, place the grate on the higher level.
  • To sear: remove the heat deflector, so the fire can reach the grate directly.
  • To make pizza: use a heat deflector, and put a pizza stone on top of it.

Cleaning Ease

Like the Classic II, the slide-in drawer at the bottom will catch the ash, saving valuable cleaning time. And at least twice a year, you should do deep-cleaning to make sure the air vents aren’t clogged with cinder since blocked dampers prevent the grill from reaching the desired temperature. Any remnants on the dome and the bottom can be brushed easily— provided that you use a soft-bristled brush— and vacuum-cleaned.

As for the ceramic parts, you ought to use a damp cloth and rub. For stubborn stain marks, follow the keep it hot rule: the temperature will burn away all the unwanted remnants without the need for water or cleaning agents, and this is also the way to get rid of the moisture and humidity from rain, dew, and snow or mold after a long period of disuse.

The grates are dishwasher-safe.

Portability

Moving a 395-pound kamado grill is no easy task, even with two people, so the cart with casters will be a much-needed feature for outdoor grillers, especially on a rainy or windy day. You can swivel, turn corners, and go sideways with ease.

Safety

The support mechanism on the back will let you lift the ceramic dome with ease and keep it stationary when your hand slips or lets go of the handle, eliminating the potential risk of chipping or cracking of the components.

You should burp the Big Joe several times before completely opening the dome, and use a chimney starter or electric charcoal starter instead of lighter fluids.

Extra Features

The Big Joe is equipped with a lid-mounted thermometer and two foldable side tables. Below the tables’ edges are tool hooks to hang cooking utensils. The grill also comes with a grate gripper and ash rake.

Verdict

Given its exorbitant price tag, buyers may have second thoughts about getting this grill. But for its ceramic construction that can last as long as time itself, and the enormous capacity, the Big Joe is a low risk - high reward investment for BBQ enthusiasts who host weekly grill fests.

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3. Char-Broil Kamander Kamado Grill - Best Char-Broil Kamado Grill

Although Char-Broil is more well-known for its gas grill line, its charcoal grill division still gains the favor from buyers, particularly the Kamander, a kamado-style grill. Compared to other kamado grills, this grill is much lighter and more budget-friendly, while still functional and versatile.

Char-Broil Kamander Charcoal Grill
  • Affordable

  • Easy-adjust side damper

  • Large side table

  • Bottom shelf

  • Inferior durability

Size

The Kamander measures 26.7 inches long by 44.5 inches wide by 44.6 inches tall. The primary grilling surface measures 20 inches in diameter, giving you 315 square inches, and the warming rack provides an extra 133 square inches— so you’ll get a total 448 square inches.

Construction

What we found most peculiar is that the body and dome are powder-coated steel, while the side tables are stainless steel. That would explain why the Kamado easily falls victim to rust, as reported by unsatisfied users, after a few months into use.

The top damper has a cast iron cap, but the side damper cap is plastic, which can melt when exposed to extreme heat, damaging the grill and compromising the food.

The grate is porcelain-coated cast iron, with a small opening to let you add coal inside the firebox conveniently.

Temperature

kamander temperator

Like all kamado grills, the Kamander has a top vent, but it lacks a bottom draft door. Instead, there is an air vent on the side connected to the base of the grill, giving you more convenience in controlling the airflow. The top and side vents have numbers to help grillers achieve the preferred temperature by fine-tuning the aperture of the openings. That would explain the Kamander’s wide temperature range, which goes from smoking briskets to making pizza with mouth-watering results.

Cleaning Ease

If you’re doing indirect grilling, you can attach the drip pan right below the grate, where all the grease and juices will be caught, held, and discarded later with ease.

Before taking out the ash pan, you should stir the unburnt chunks so the ash can sift through the fire grate and fall on the ash pan.

Since the grate is too large and dishwasher incompatible, you should clean it manually.

Portability

Weighing 115 pounds, the Kamander is lightweight compared to its ceramic counterparts. The grill comes with two wheels and a stand, but since it doesn’t lock in a stationary position, you shouldn’t place the grill in a slanted or rough surface. Although the two all-terrain wheels are fairly large, they cannot swivel or go sideways, so if you’re turning corners, do it slowly.

Safety

Like all kamado grills, you should burp the Kamander a few times before opening the dome, and never use lighter fluids to ignite the coal.

Extra Features

The Kamander has a lid-mounted thermometer to monitor the interior temperature. The side table and bottom rack offer valuable space for grillers’ working area, while the tool hooks will keep the tools within an arm’s reach.

Verdict

The Char-Broil Kamander is a reasonably-priced and serviceable example of the brand’s effort to make a costly grill available to the masses.

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4. Char-Griller E16620 Kamado Grill - Best Budget Kamado Grill

If you are unsure about getting a ceramic kamado grill, then why not get a steel one? The Char-Griller E16630 is an entry-level kamado grill that is versatile enough to cook a variety of dishes, from burgers to pizzas. Granted, it may not last as long as other kamado grills, but this grill will offer you the most for its value.

Char-Griller E16620 Akorn Kamado Charcoal Grill
  • Affordable

  • Lightweight

  • Faster heating

  • Side tables

  • Bottom shelf

  • Inferior durability

  • Small thermometer

Size

The E16620 measures 45 inches long by 31 inches wide by 47 inches tall. The grilling surface offers 314 square inches, and another 133 square inches from the warming rack will provide a total of 447 square inches.

Construction

The exterior on the body and lid are powder-coated while the interior’s coated with porcelain enamel. The cast iron grate has an easy-access plate, through which you can add more coal inside the grill. The plate is cut out right in the center of the grill, so it’s great when you want to add wood or lump charcoal in the center of the fire.

Temperature

Guide to adjust the temperature through the dampers

Since the E16620 is coated steel, it can come up to the optimum temperature much faster than pure-ceramic grills. The top vent and bottom draft door on this grill will let you cook low-and-slow, hot and fast, or anything in between by adjusting the aperture of the openings, as the table above suggests. However, there’s no indication mark on the vents, so inexperienced grillers are about to venture into the uncharted zone. Luckily, the chart above can come in handy.

Cleaning Ease

The E16620 has an ash pan that can be detached easily.

As for the grate, since it is cast iron and way too oversized for the dishwasher, you are not only well-advised to clean it manually, but also keep it dry and re-season routinely to prevent rusting.

Portability

The 97-pound grill is easy to move around, not only because of its non-ceramic construction but also because of the all-terrain wheels and a caster.

Safety

This grill comes with a grate lifter, so you can remove the grate safely when adding coal or cleaning.

Like all kamado grills, you should burp the grill several times before opening the dome completely, and use conventional charcoal starting methods instead of lighter fluids.

Extra Features

The E16620 comes with a thermometer, two fold-down side tables, bottom rack, and tool hooks.

If black isn’t to your liking, this grill also comes in blue.

Verdict

The E16620 isn’t the perfect grill, but it’s a good start for those on a tighter end of the budget spectrum, and this grill will offer the best bang for your buck. When your grilling game is up to a higher level, you can upgrade to a higher-end grill.

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5. Char-Griller Akorn Jr 06614 - Best Small Kamado Grill

When you need a grill for camping, road trips or tailgate parties, we highly recommend the Akorn Jr 06614: a compact and budget-friendly grill that performs well no matter where you host the grill fest.

Char-Griller E06614 Charcoal Grill
  • Inexpensive

  • Portable > lightweight

  • Easy to assemble

  • Small

Size

The Akorn Jr. measures 20 inches long by 20 inches wide by 25 inches tall. Its grilling surface measures 14 inches in diameter, offering 153 square inches, with no extra warming rack. It can house up to three or four steaks.

Construction

The exterior of the body and dome are powder-coated steel, while the interior is porcelain. So, it goes without saying that the Akorn Jr.isn’t as well insulated as ceramic grills. And like other Char-Griller peers, the grate is cast iron.

Temperature

The top and bottom damper will fine-tune the temperature inside the grill from 200°F up to 700°F and anywhere in between, so you can smoke briskets, grill burgers, BBQ some ribs, sear steaks, and make pizzas.

Cleaning Ease

The ash catcher can be turned and detached by hand easily.

The cast-iron grate, though small, is unfortunately dishwasher incompatible. You need to hand-wash and dry it completely to prevent rusting.

Portability

The Akorn Jr. weighs 40 pounds, the most lightweight kamado grill featured in this article. The two side handles make it easy to lift and carry the grill from one place to another.

Safety

The handles are metal, so they get warm to the touch. If you need to move the grill when it’s cooking, remember to put on mitts or gloves first.

Extra Features

The Akorn Jr. has no notable extra features.

If you prefer the mysterious all-black, then you might want to give this grill a look.

Verdict

The Char-Griller Akorn Jr. 06614 is the kamado grill of choice for avid campers, or wherever space is scarce.

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Top-rated Kamado Grills Comparison Chart

ModelDimensions
(L x W x H)
Cooking Area
(sq in)
Extra FeaturesWarranty
Kamado Joe Classic II 18”28” x 46.5” x 48”660Side tables,
Casters,
Thermometer,
Ash rake,
Lid latch,
Grill gripper,
Tool hooks
Limited warranty
Kamado Joe Big Joe 24” 31” x 50” x 54”1,056Side tables,
Casters,
Thermometer,
Ash rake,
Lid latch,
Grill gripper,
Tool hooks
Limited warranty
Char-Broil Kamander26.7” x 44.5” x 44.6”448Side tables,
Wheels,
Thermometer,
Bottom shelf,
Lid latch
Limited warranty
Char-Griller E1662045” x 31” x 47”447Side table,
Bottom shelf,
Thermometer,
Lid latch,
Casters,
Limited warranty
Char-Griller Akorn Jr 0661420” x 20” x 25153Thermometer,
Lid latch
Limited warranty

Kamado Grill FAQs

While expensive and high-maintenance, a kamado grill nonetheless makes a great choice for serious grillers committed to improving their techniques. But sometimes, there are doubts and uncertainties surrounding these ceramic cookers. Let’s address those questions to the best of our knowledge.

1. Why Choose a Kamado Grill over a Charcoal Grill?

If you want to play things safe with the all-time classic charcoal grill, that’s fine by all accounts. But it can only do so much in terms of heating range. On top of that, general heat loss to the surrounding environment remains a problem yet to be fully resolved.

Meanwhile, a kamado grill possesses tremendous heating efficiency, plus a flair for low-temperature cooking options using convection. The circulating heat can slow-roast turkeys, smoke ribs/briskets, and sear steaks on intense flames to perfection. If you want a diverse menu with several cooking options, a kamado grill is the way to go.

Addressing the heat loss issue, the airtight design is a major improvement over any typical charcoal-fed grill. For starters, the tightly concealed body ensures maximum heat retention rate. Using gaskets and locks, the cooking chamber traps all the moisture and heat from within. There’s really no need to compensate for lost heating when the food is always sizzling hot and juicy.

Despite its price, a kamado grill makes an appropriate choice for grillers who emphasize buy-once-for-life values. With proper maintenance, it can last years or even decades with little to no sign of wear and tear. And to further sweeten the deal, kamado grills are often placed under a limited lifetime warranty.

2. What Is a Kamado Grill?

First, you need to know what kamado means. The name is derived from Japanese, which means kitchen stove or oven. But the kamado itself wasn’t even of Japanese origin to begin with.

In Sacred Texts and Buried Treasures: Issues in the Historical Archaeology of Ancient Japan by William Wayne Farris, the author explained that the kamado was a hollow, cylindrical oven with a side-access door to adjust temperature, along with an exhaust outlet. The kamado was made from clay or terra cotta, and people would cook directly above the flame.

Its origin can be traced back to China and Korea, dating back to the third century— before eventually making its way to Japan in the seventh century. By the eighth and ninth century, the oven was so closely associated with Korea that Japanese people called them kara kamado, meaning Korean oven, eventually shortened to kamado. There is also a source that quoted studies suggesting kamado could trace its roots to kama or gama, which means cooking range in Korean.

After centuries of drastic changes and significant improvements, smaller and more portable stoves came into being, namely the shichirin and mushikamado. Many American soldiers who were stationed in Japan brought the mushikamado back to US soil after World War II and made further modifications— integrating the damper system, hinge and grate— turning them into the thick-walled kamado grills that we are familiar with today. And now the name refers to ceramic cookers or grills, also known as kamado style grills.

3. What are Kamado Grill Accessories?

Below are some of the accessories you can buy. But before you do, make sure that they fit with your current kamado grill

  • Grill cover or a tarp
  • Rotisserie cradle
  • Griddle
  • Pizza stone
  • Rib rack
  • Extra grates

Conclusion

Choosing the right kamado grill isn’t easy, because there are a lot of factors that determine your final pick. Size and material are a given, but other features can come into play as well, like cleaning and portability. And it also doesn’t help when the price points are drastically different, further complicating the buying process.

That’s why this article came to be: provide insights, so you can make the most informed choice. We hope that our reviews of the best kamado grills— along with the buying guide— will help you make the right choice among countless options on the market.

If you feel like sharing your grilling experience, tips, or if there’s anything that we can do to improve this article, your comments are always warmly welcomed and appreciated.

Luna Regina

A writer and entrepreneur, Luna’s day doesn’t start at the computer keyboard, but in the kitchen. Half of her working hours are spent on mixing ingredients for her recipes. The other half involve working with the tech team to research and test the tools and appliances that promise to make kitchen work effortless and mess-free. From a kitchen knife or water filter to the Instant Pot, if it can help save time and effort for the home cook, Luna and her team are on it. Luna’s extracurricular pastimes include camping, travel, and photography.

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